My introduction to black ice still sends chills down my spine. I was driving in a New England snowstorm for the first time; everything was peaceful and calm and then suddenly I found myself on the other side of the highway facing in the opposite direction. My driving companion said, "Yeah, you gotta watch out for black ice." If Finnish writer/director Petri Kotwica can create even 10% of what I felt that day, I will bang down the doors to see the upcoming Black Ice.

To be fair, though it's described as "a suspenseful drama" on the production company's web site, the plot sounds more like a domestic soap opera than a deadly suspense picture. Using an assumed name, 40-something Saara develops a friendship with her husband Leo's 25-year-old mistress, Tuuli. Of course, Leo has told Tuuli that his divorce is almost final and she has no reason to suspect her new gal pal of any ulterior motive. Oh, and Saara is a gynecologist, which may or may not figure into the story. Here's the quote that gives me hope that the drama may morph into more of a heart-stopping thriller: "Soon the lies pile up, leading to a feverish nightmare -- and not everybody survives." (Cut to me, rubbing my hands together in gleeful anticipation.) The teaser doesn't give a clear indication if the balance of the story will be devoted to suds or nightmares.

Kotwica made a couple of short films before debuting with Homesickness, which dramatized a teenage boy's willingness to remain in a mental institution rather than return home to an unhappy family life. Variety's Jay Weissberg felt that the director's "success in capturing the inner turmoil of an institutionalized teen is almost enough for viewers to forgive his overactive camera," so I should probably temper my expectations. Black Ice is due for release in Finland on October 19, 2007; maybe it will emerge on the festival circuit after that.
categories Cinematical